If you spend much time searching for airfare, chances are that at least once or twice in your journey you’ve felt crestfallen when you discover the price you paid was significantly cheaper days or weeks later.
Google Flights has a few tools to help you spot those deals. One of them is a handy calendar view that highlights the cheapest dates in green.
Whether you are shopping online or browsing through your favorite apps, location services play an important role. Without them, your experience will be frustrating and slow. Location services help to improve the performance of your device, providing better map accuracy and saving battery power.
You can control how locations are collected on your phone by adjusting your privacy settings. You can also choose to allow or block apps from using your location. If an app needs access to your location, it will request permission by showing a pop-up notification that you can accept or reject.
You can check if your Mac is using Location Services by launching Spotlight, entering System Preferences and clicking Security & Privacy. You can select the Location Services tab and choose between Never, Always While Using App, or Ask When Using App. If you choose Never, your Mac won’t use Location Services and will not be able to access any information about your location.
Google Maps offers a bird’s-eye view of the earth, with satellite imagery updated regularly. The maps are free for use, with some restrictions, by anyone with an internet connection. Users can create custom folders to save layers and features, and can download them in KML or KMZ format (native to Google) for offline viewing. They can also customize the symbol style, size and color for each point.
Google has recently added an air quality layer to its mobile apps on iOS and Android. It uses a variety of government data — including from the Environmental Protection Agency in the US — and third-party sources like PurpleAir’s network of hyper-local sensors. Clicking on the AQI readings in the layer shows you how bad or good the air is at that location, as well as guidance for outdoor activities.
Google also added a wildfire layer to its mobile app, thanks to a partnership with the National Interagency Fire Center. The fires are flagged and listed by name on the maps, and you can see details about them as you zoom in.
Air quality is a significant concern for many people, especially those with heart and respiratory conditions. To help users make more informed decisions about whether to go outside, Google has rolled out an air quality tool in Maps and Search on Android and iOS devices. The feature will show you the air pollution level for a location and its surrounding areas based on data from the EPA and PurpleAir, a network of atmospheric sensors.
The information will be displayed as a map overlay within Maps, and you can also see the air quality index for a specific location in a search result. The card will include guidance for outdoor activities and warnings for sensitive groups. It will also provide information about where the data is coming from and when it was updated.
The feature is available in the US and Canada now, but will eventually be rolled out to more locations. To use it, open Maps and tap the layers button that looks like two squares stacked on each other at the top right of your screen. Then select ‘Air quality’ from the Map details menu.
When you’re in the market for a flight, Google offers some new perks to help you beat ticket prices to the punch. The search engine now guarantees fares on certain routes until the day of departure, refunding travelers if a fare goes down before takeoff.
The company’s new price guarantee will appear in the flight search results if airlines offer it on selected flights departing from the United States. It applies to both one-way and round trip tickets, though the latter must be booked through a credit card held by the consumer.
You can also save money by being flexible about your travel dates and destinations with the search engine’s Explore feature, which lets you enter a departing airport and select as broad or as specific an area of the world as you want to check out. And don’t be afraid to search from alternate airports — you may be surprised by how much a cheaper flight is from Milwaukee instead of Chicago.